The current cost of living crisis and expected rise in interest rates has caused many letting agents, landlords and renters to be concerned. Many fear that the recent changes are driving up the cost of rent for tenants, and that there is not enough accommodation available to meet the growing demand as more landlords consider selling their properties once the tenants’ lease ends.
When asked his thoughts on the current amount of properties for rent, Oliver Reilly, director of Oliver Reilly Estate Agents in Newark, explained he felt there was a shortage. He said: “I don’t think there’s enough supply and I don’t think there ever has been with the supply that we have had.
“We have had this influx of sellable units and people fighting for properties and now it’s quietened down to where it was around 18 months to two years ago. I wouldn’t say locally that prices are too high when you compare it to other areas, such as certain parts of Lincolnshire, and a lot of people are moving to the area from other areas.”
Mr Reilly only sells properties and does not deal with letting properties. He said: “I’m just sales only, I only deal with land lords if they are getting to the stage of selling.”
He explained that some landlords are considering selling as their tenancies have finished whilst others are considering selling in the future. Mr Reilly said: “The interest rate side of things could affect affordability and profitability from a landlord’s point of view. I would say yeah definitely.”
He also shared concerns over the cost of living crisis, particularly the cost of energy, cost of living and the interest rates.
Marie Edlin, director of Edlin & Jarvis Estate Agents, also has concerns over the cost of living crisis.
When asked her thoughts about the rising interest rates, Ms Edlin said: “At the moment it is too early days to say. Mortgage lenders are being a bit skitzy by putting their rates up, so I don’t know.
We probably won’t know for the next seven to 14 days what affect it will have.” This uncertainty is also causing concern in many tenants in the area, who are unsure whether their rents will be increased in the coming weeks.
A NHS worker from Newark said: “My rent hasn’t gone up but I did just have my bill for gas and electric, my electric is about £60 a month and my gas is £100. I’m with British Gas who are really good and have already informed me of new costs and it’s not really too noticeable.
The 38 year old added: “I live on my own and I turn off all my plug sockets when I’m not at home, I don’t even leave the TV on standby.” Linda Fern, 64, of Grantham, is the acting landlady for a property in Fernwood, near Newark, which she is managing on her daughter’s behalf.
She said: “It is getting very hard for renters. My daughter lives in Australia and is renting her house out and I’m acting as the landlady.
“Because the mortgage has been put up, she has had to put the rent up and that’s going to cause problems for the tenant. The government has put us in an impossible position and I know it’s not all their fault, we have had a lot of outside global issues, but they haven’t helped.
“It’s caused mayhem in the finance sector. It’s just been very difficult for people.” When asked if her rent had gone up and if she had any concerns over the cost of living crisis, a 62 year old of Newark, said: “yes and yes.”
She continued: “Everything is just going up and wages and benefits are not matching. It’s difficult, especially when you can’t work if you have a disability and things.”
When asked about her own rent, she said: “It’s going up once a year at the moment, we haven’t heard if it’s going up yet, it’s usually around April.”
A retired 75 year old from Newark also has concerns. She said: “Yes, I’m retired and a pensioner so I definitely have concerns. We’re giving the rich money and taking it away from those who need it, but what Labour has might do might not be any better.”
The pensioner says she will be careful over heating costs this Winter, and although she has central heating, she said: “I haven’t used it for 25 years so I don’t dare switch it on.
“I just heat the room I’m in and have a heated blanket in the bedroom.”